She could have escaped and left the nightmare behind, but Kayla Mueller said no. The American aid worker, kidnapped and forced into sexual slavery for ISIS, sacrificed her one chance at freedom in order to help out another one of her fellow captives.
Kayla, 26, turned down a rare opportunity to escape the clutches of Abu Sayaff, an ISIS leader, in Aug. 2014, according to Foreign Policy. Kayla was being held hostage with two other women, a young teenager from Iraq’s Yazidi religious minority and a second Western relief worker.
While the Yazidi girl was ready to run for her life, the third hostage was not physically capable of fleeing. As the Iraqi girl escaped, Kayla stayed behind because she didn’t want to abandon the other ill hostage. Yes, the woman from Prescott, Arizona gave up what would be the only chance for her to get away from the horrors of being a sex slave, as she would later die while in custody of the terrorist organization.
On Aug. 23, her parents released a copy of an unpublished letter she wrote while in captivity, per the Daily Mail, which further explained her selfless dedication to others. “’I have come to see that there is good in every situation, sometimes we just have to look for it,” she wrote. “I pray each day that if nothing else, you have felt a certain closeness + surrender to God as well + have formed a bond of love + support amongst one another.”
Kayla’s death remains mysterious. ISIS claims she was killed in a 2015 airstrike that targeted the leader of terrorist group. The Pentagon confirmed that she was dead, but maintains that she was murdered by ISIS. “On behalf of the American people,” President Barack Obama, 55, said in a statement following her death, “Michelle and I convey our deepest condolences to Kayla’s family – her parents, Marsha and Carl, and her brother Eric and his family – and all of those who loved Kayla dearly.”
The young American woman was kidnapped on Aug. 4, 2013, while she was leaving a Spanish Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aleppo, Syria. Three weeks after her capture, ISIS contacted her parents, sending a horrifying video as a “proof of life.”
In the clip, Kayla begs for help from her family, saying she has been very sick and she was absolutely terrified. ISIS demanded either the release of Dr. Afia Siddiqui or a ransom of 5 million euros. Sadly, efforts to free her would be in vain, and Kayla would eventually perish while in ISIS’s custody.
What do you think about Kayla turning down a chance for escape – for survival – to stay with a fellow hostage, HollywoodLifers?